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Oct 7, 201310:51 AMLeader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

6 ways to get along better with co-workers

(page 1 of 2)

Whether it is live or online, one of the most popular seminars/webinars our company offers is “How to Communicate With Diplomacy and Tact.” This is really not too surprising in a world where teamwork and collaboration are the order of the day but not always easy to follow when “MY IDEA” is clearly correct and the other person’s or department’s is not.

When disagreements occur, email exchanges get testy, and then the conversation (or is that “confrontation”?) begins. Since the ultimate goal of any business is to take care of its external customers in a superb way, wouldn’t it be great if internal customers got the same respect?

With this short background — which I am sure many of you can relate to — out of the way, here are six guidelines to follow when you have a difference of opinion with a co-worker. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t stand up for your point of view, but you should know that there is a more diplomatic and tactful way of doing so.

1) Give others the benefit of the doubt: Maybe the person who just made that outrageous comment has substantial evidence to back it up. If you react in a negative, emotional way, chances are the other person will respond in kind. When that happens, evidence and logic take a backseat to emotion. Remember, this is a conversation, not a confrontation.

2) Listen to learn and understand: With this intent, try to really understand where other people are coming from. Let them know you have heard them and are genuinely trying to see things from their perspective.

3) Take responsibility for your own feelings: Make a habit of using “I” statements. Beginning with “you” tends to come off as blaming and usually puts the other person on the defensive. When that happens, the chances of your point of view being heard are reduced. If you truly want your ideas understood, you should first seek to understand.

(Continued)

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Known for his Dale Carnegie training expertise, Terry Siebert is writing to inspire leaders to reach their greatest potential. Leadership, today more than ever, may mean the difference between closing the doors or opening new markets. Every month, he'll post help with mindset, business tools and more.

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